WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Here is what to look out for next as the proceedings advance in U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate:
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he departs for travel to New Orleans, Louisiana from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
* The House filed its reply to Trump’s response to the Senate trial summons.
* Trump filed a trial brief that called for an immediate dismissal of the House of Representatives’ two articles of impeachment.
Starting Jan. 21
* The House has until noon (1700 GMT) to file a rebuttal brief to the White House trial brief, if it so chooses.
* The trial resumes at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) and is expected to continue six days a week, with the exception of Sundays.
* A vote could be held sometime during Jan. 21 on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed rules governing the first phase of the trial, which would leave open the option of voting later on whether witnesses would testify and new evidence could be introduced.
* Democrats are expected to try to amend McConnell’s rules to stipulate that witnesses must be called, possibly leading to extended debate over the rules of the trial.
* Once the rules have been adopted, Democratic House “managers” who form the prosecution team would begin to present their case against Trump. It is unclear whether that will start on Jan. 21 or the next day. When the House managers have finished, the president’s team will respond with its opening arguments. The arguments are expected to take several days to present, with the senators, sitting as jurors, listening. Two sources have said that each side could get a maximum of 24 hours to present their cases. The 48 hours would be further divided into four 12-hour sessions, the sources said.
* Following the opening arguments, senators would be given time to submit questions to each side.
Late January to early February
* Democrats are expected to continue pushing to hear from witnesses during the trial. If McConnell’s resolution on initial trial rules is adopted, as expected, senators would likely vote some time after the trial has started on whether to introduce witness testimony sought by the Democrats.
* That could be followed by votes to present final arguments if witnesses are not approved by a majority of the Senate.
* Trump is scheduled to deliver the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.
Reporting by Susan Cornwell, Jan Wolfe, David Morgan and Richard Cowan; Editing by Peter Cooney and Daniel Wallis